Vienna, 25 September 2006 - Last week, the 50th General Conference of the IAEA elected Austria as a Member of the IAEA's Board of Governors for two years. In addition, at today's meeting of the Board of Governors, Thomas Stelzer, the Austrian representative on the Board and Austrian ambassador at the United Nations in Vienna, was elected one of the two Vice-Chairmen for one year.
Together with the new Chairman of the Board of Governors, Slovenian Ambassador Ernest Petric, Austria's work on the Board of Governors will be mainly devoted to the field of nuclear safety.
At the IAEA's 50th General Conference last week, Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik emphasised the outstanding importance of creating and strengthening a global system of networked protection and safety standards in the field of nuclear safety as the IAEA's central task. At the same time she stressed Austria's negative stance towards any Agency activities aimed at the development of new and innovative reactors – "the International Atomic Energy Agency should rather remain a driving force for enhancing the safety of existing nuclear installations," said the Foreign Minister. In his opening address at the 50th General Conference, Federal President Fischer also stressed that "the continued high-quality work of the IAEA in the field of nuclear safety and the improvements it has brought about in standards in this area deservedly enjoy Austria's full support."
Last year, the IAEA and its Director General Mohamed ElBaradei were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their successful work in the interests of international security. As host country and as a Member of the Board of Governors, Austria has an important role to play; particularly so on the 50th anniversary of Vienna's oldest and biggest international organisation.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213